Why did politicians ever lockdown society in the first place? Can we all agree that the stated purpose was to “flatten the curve” so our hospital system could handle the inevitable COVID-19 patients who needed care? At that point, at least, back in early March, people were behaving rationally. They accepted that you can’t eradicate a virus, so let’s postpone things enough to handle it.
The fact is, we have done that, and so much more.
The headlines are filled with dire warnings of a “second wave” and trigger-happy Governors are rolling back regulations to try to stem the tide of new cases. But, is any of it actually true and should we all be worried? No, it’s not a second wave.
The COVID-19 virus is on its final legs, and while I have filled this post with graphs to prove everything I just said, this is really the only graph you need to see, it’s the CDC’s data, over time, of deaths from COVID-19 here in the U.S., and the trend line is unmistakable:
If virologists were driving policy about COVID-19 rather than public health officials, we’d all be Sweden right now, which means life would effectively be back to normal. The only thing our lockdowns have done at this point is prolong the agony a little bit, and encouraged Governors to make up more useless rules.
Sweden’s health minister understood that the only chance to beat COVID-19 was to get the Swedish population to a Herd Immunity Threshold against COVID-19, and that’s exactly what they have done, so let me start there.
The Herd Immunity Threshold (“HIT”) for COVID-19 is between 10-20%
This fact gets less press than any other. Most people understand the basic concept of herd immunity and the math behind it. In the early days, some public health officials speculated that COVID-19’s HIT was 70%. Obviously, the difference between a HIT of 70% and a HIT of 10-20% is dramatic, and the lower the HIT, the quicker a virus will burn out as it loses the ability to infect more people, which is exactly what COVID-19 is doing everywhere, including the U.S, which is why the death curve above looks the way it looks.
Scientists from Oxford, Virginia Tech, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, all recently explained the HIT of COVID-19 in this paper:
We searched the literature for estimates of individual variation in propensity to acquire or transmit COVID-19 or other infectious diseases and overlaid the findings as vertical lines in Figure 3. Most CV estimates are comprised between 2 and 4, a range where naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.
Calculations from this study of data in Stockholm showed a HIT of 17%, and if you really love data check out this great essay by Brown Professor Dr. Andrew Bostom titled, COVID-19 ‘herd immunity’ without vaccination? Teaching modern vaccine dogma old tricks. I’m going to share his summary with you, because it’s so good:
Naturally acquired herd immunity to COVID-19 combined with earnest protection of the vulnerable elderly – especially nursing home and assisted living facility residents — is an eminently reasonable and practical alternative to the dubious panacea of mass compulsory vaccination against the virus.
This strategy was successfully implemented in Malmo, Sweden, which had few COVID-19 deaths by assiduously protecting its elder care homes, while “schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout.
One of the most vocal members of the scientific community discussing COVID-19’s HIT is Stanford’s Nobel-laureate Dr. Michael Levitt.
Back on May 4, he gave this great interview to the Stanford Daily where he advocated for Sweden’s approach of letting COVID-19 spread naturally through the community until you arrive at HIT. He stated:
If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown. My own feeling is that it will probably stop because of herd immunity. COVID is serious, it’s at least a serious flu. But it’s not going to destroy humanity as people thought.
Guess what? That’s exactly what happened. As of today, 7 weeks after his prediction, Sweden has 5,280 deaths. In this graph, you can see that deaths in Sweden PEAKED when the HIT was halfway to its peak (roughly 7.3%) and by the time the virus hit 14% it was nearly extinguished. (Shoutout to Gummi Bear on Twitter, a scientist who makes great graphs.)
How could Dr. Levitt have predicted the death range for Sweden so perfectly 7 weeks ago? Because he had a pretty solid idea of what the HIT would be. (If you’d like to further geek-out on HIT, check out: Why herd immunity to COVID-19 is reached much earlier than thought.)
I absolutely LOVE Dr. Levitt (and as a Stanford alum, so proud he is a Stanford professor), watch this incredible video from just yesterday, go to 10:59 and just listen to this remarkable man!! Thrilled with his brand-new paper, released today, Predicting the Trajectory of Any COVID19 Epidemic From the Best Straight Line.
By the way, as a quick aside, and something else the press won’t touch: COVID-19 is a coronavirus, and we have ALL been exposed to MANY coronaviruses during our lives on earth (like the common cold).
Guess what? Scientists are now showing evidence that up to 81% of us can mount a strong response to COVID-19 without ever having been exposed to it before:
Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed preexisting T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity
This alone could explain WHY the HIT is so much lower for COVID-19 than some scientists thought originally, when the number being talked about was closer to 70%.
Many of us have always been immune!
If that’s not enough for you, a similar study from Sweden was just released and shows that “roughly twice as many people have developed T-cell immunity compared with those who we can detect antibodies in.”
(We kind of knew this from the data on the Diamond Princess when only 17% of the people on board tested positive, despite an ideal environment for mass spread, implying 83% of the people were somehow protected from the new virus.)
Quick Update: This article came out one day after I wrote mine, and validated everything I just said, except the author is wrong about COVID-19’s HIT, it’s 10-20%, not 60%, which is even better news:
However, it does provide a possible explanation for why the Covid-19 epidemic seems to have died away in many places once it had infected around 20 per cent of the local population (as judged by the presence of antibodies). If people are developing some kind of immunity to Covid-19 via their T cells then it could mean that a far higher percentage of the population has been exposed to Covid-19 than previously thought. Antibodies and T cells combined, it is conceivable that some places such as London or New York are already at or near the 60 per cent infection level required to achieve herd immunity.
Back to death rates over time. We actually have our own Sweden here in the U.S. It’s called New York City. In our case, we accidentally created a Sweden scenario, in that we took our medicine quickly, because:
- New York locked down so late that they didn’t flatten anything
- they have the highest population density in the U.S. in NYC
- the public health officials and Governors there made the bone-headed decision to send COVID-positive nursing home residents back to their nursing home, accelerating deaths of the most vulnerable.
What’s their death curve look like today? In this case, I borrowed the graph from the NYC public health website:
Hmm…notice anything about the chart or its slope? The reason deaths from COVID-19 are dwindling down to nothing isn’t because Governor Cuomo is a policy genius (in fact, he likely created more unnecessary deaths than any other Governor with the nursing home decision), it’s because the virus—like every virus in the history of mankind—is running out of people to infect.
The virus has a HIT of 10-20% and 70% of people are likely naturally immune. Hosts are in short supply! That’s what viruses do, and wait until you see what New York’s likely HIT is today.
We can get a crude, but helpful proxy for whether or not a state (or region) has achieved their own Herd Immunity Threshold if we know the following things: the size of the population, the number of deaths from COVID-19, and COVID-19’s IFR, or Infection Fatality Rate.
In my first blog post late last month, LOCKDOWN LUNACY: the thinking person’s guide, I discussed Infection Fatality Rate in detail, so I am just going to give a very quick summary here.
Stanford’s Dr. John Ioannidis published a meta-analysis (because so many IFR studies have been done around the world in April and early May) where he analyzed TWELVE separate IFR studies and his conclusion lays out the likely IFR for COVID-19:
The infection fatality rate (IFR), the probability of dying for a person who is infected, is one of the most critical and most contested features of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The expected total mortality burden of COVID-19 is directly related to the IFR. Moreover, justification for various non-pharmacological public health interventions depends crucially on the IFR.
Some aggressive interventions that potentially induce also more pronounced collateral harms1 may be considered appropriate, if IFR is high. Conversely, the same measures may fall short of acceptable risk-benefit thresholds, if the IFR is low…Interestingly, despite their differences in design, execution, and analysis, most studies provide IFR point estimates that are within a relatively narrow range.
Seven of the 12 inferred IFRs are in the range 0.07 to 0.20 (corrected IFR of 0.06 to 0.16) which are similar to IFR values of seasonal influenza. Three values are modestly higher (corrected IFR of 0.25-0.40 in Gangelt, Geneva, and Wuhan) and two are modestly lower than this range (corrected IFR of 0.02-0.03 in Kobe and Oise).
The data on IFR has now been replicated so many times that our own Centers for Disease Control announced that their ‘best estimate’ showed an IFR below 0.3%.
In this article on the CDC’s new data, they also highlighted how the cascading declines in IFR has removed all the fears of doomsday:
That “best estimate” scenario also assumes that 35 percent of infections are asymptomatic, meaning the total number of infections is more than 50 percent larger than the number of symptomatic cases. It therefore implies that the IFR is between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent.
By contrast, the projections that the CDC made in March, which predicted that as many as 1.7 million Americans could die from COVID-19 without intervention, assumed an IFR of 0.8 percent. Around the same time, researchers at Imperial College produced a worst-case scenario in which 2.2 million Americans died, based on an IFR of 0.9 percent.
In order to be as bullet-proof as possible, and because the IFR is an important part of the math I will do right now, I’ve decided to pick a simple and defensible number, the final number pegged by the CDC for COVID-19’s IFR: 0.26%
(As an aside, if we’d known this 3 months ago, no one in the public health world would have panicked. It’s a bad flu, and the rates for younger people are dramatically below 0.26% and approaching zero for children.)
Now that you understand COVID’s IFR and the likely HIT, it’s much easier to talk about the second wave, the data, and the implications. Here’s the deal:
Yes, certain states are having an uptick in three measurements: COVID-19 tests administered, positive COVID-19 tests, and hospitalizations. All three of these measurements are dubious. Hopefully, some of the rise in cases is REAL, because then the U.S. will arrive at Herd Immunity Threshold (“HIT”), which has been slightly delayed by lockdowns, sooner. Based on the “death curve” in the US, we are very close to being done.
Take population, COVID Deaths, and IFR to find HIT
C’mon stay with me! This math is basic, junior high level stuff. And, it’s going to give us the most important, but very crude, number we need to understand all this second wave nonsense: the approximate HIT already attained by state and by the United States.
If you know how many people have died from COVID-19 in any one region, you can quickly calculate how many people have had COVID-19 in that same region. All you do is divide deaths by the IFR. Let’s use NY as the example.
As of today, there have been 31,137 deaths from COVID-19. Take 31,137/.0026, you get 11,975,969 people infected with COVID-19. Take those 11 million people divided by New York’s population of 19.45 million, you get a HIT of…65%.
(Data geek comment: New York’s HIT is clearly OVER-stated, because total deaths drives HIT, and NY has a much higher rate of nursing home deaths due to bad policy.)
Huge disclaimer: This math is crude, but it’s also directionally accurate, and the comparisons BETWEEN states helps explain what’s going on. Importantly, the HIT required to snuff out the virus in any one region could be lower than Sweden’s number of 17%, for a million reasons, most notably better medical knowledge today than a few months ago about how to keep a vulnerable person alive.
Still, just look at this table I created using the math above:
Notice anything? New York is WELL PAST Herd Immunity Threshold (as is New Jersey), the southern states in the news are BELOW the implied HIT, while the U.S. overall is nearly there with 15%. This is why the death curve from the CDC (and NYC!) that I opened this blog post with looks the way it looks: we are basically done with the virus. Just like Sweden. Oh, and Italy:
Quick update: Mount Sinai doctors just released a study showing a seroprevalence study of a random sample of 5,000 New Yorkers, it states that “by the week ending April 19, the seroprevalence in the screening group reached 19.3%.”
If you take that 19.3% number, and consider what we just learned from Sweden — that half of people with immunity won’t show it with this test — and then consider how many more people have been exposed since April 28, it’s entirely plausible that NY is well past 40% or more people, which starts to look closer to the 65% number my math shows. Either way, let’s just keep it simple: New York, and especially NYC, are WELL PAST HIT of 10-20%, which explains why their death curve looks the way it looks.
While HIT matters more than anything else in explaining the trajectory of the virus, and tells us that the U.S. is very close to being done with COVID-19, I wanted to take a closer look at one state, Florida, the current whipping boy of the press. They also have great data.
No one seems to be listening to the Governor, the health department, or the hospitals in Florida, who all seem to be saying the same thing, which is basically that everything is fine. On June 20, Florida’s department of health produced a presentation that explained how their testing had changed over time. Check out this slide:
So, as the state re-opened, they began to test everyone, “regardless of age and symptoms.” What do you think would happen when they did that? Obviously, more positives. So, here’s my first fact:
Fact #1: All of the “second wave” states have dramatically increased their testing. This alone causes cases to rise, and is the single biggest reason they have.
Still not convinced? Check out this eye-opener of a chart that shows per-capita testing in the U.S. versus other countries. Notice anything about June? Not only do we do MORE testing than any other country, but our testing spiked in June, right as all the headlines about more cases came out. Hmmm…
It’s not quite that simple. Yes, cases are up because more testing is being done. Cases have never, ever been a reliable indicator of ANYTHING. But, hospitalizations have been a reliable indicator. And, unexpectedly, there was an uptick in hospitalizations for COVID-19 beginning around June 6th in Florida, as you can see here:
The most obvious reason COVID-19 hospitalizations are going up is because of what’s happening in the hospital system. Patients are returning to the hospitals for elective surgery that were all delayed during the lockdown.
EVERY patient is screened for COVID-19. A patient who is undergoing elective knee surgery and tests positive for COVID-19 even though they are asymptomatic will be classified as “hospitalized with COVID-19.” This was explained in a recent NY Times article:
One-third of all patients admitted to the city’s [Miami] main public hospital over the past two weeks after going to the emergency room for car-crash injuries and other urgent problems have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Fact #2: Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up slightly because of how COVID-19 positive patients are tracked. They will be in the number even if they didn’t go to the hospital BECAUSE of COVID-19
Still, there is something else going on. It’s not just more tests and the way hospitalizations are happening. Many states re-opened on May 1 and their trend lines were flat to down for weeks. It’s as if some super-spreader event happened in certain states towards late May/Early June.
It’s really clear that something unique is going on if you look at data from Minnesota, the state where George Floyd was tragically murdered, where positive cased are stratified by age:
As you can see, in Minnesota, the percentage of positive cases by people age 20-29 really spiked in mid to late June, which means infections likely happened in early June or late May. Yes, obviously, the densely-packed protests for racial equality and social justice—which I personally applaud—appear to have caused a REAL uptick in cases and hospitalizations.
See this article, Houston Protesters Begin to Fall Ill With Coronavirus After Marching for George Floyd. Just look at the median age of NEW cases in Florida for mid-June (used to be in the mid-60s):
Fact #3: A REAL rise in both cases and hospitalizations perfectly matches the timing of the nationwide protests which included many densely-packed crowds together for many hours and even days.
Not convinced? Check out this great graph that overlays the timing of the protests, lockdowns, social mobility, and hospitalizations using data for the entire US. Note there is a time delay between exposure and hospitalizations (between 8 and 15 days), and look at when the yellow hospitalization line goes up.
However, the good news about all of this is that there has been no impact on the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs, which is consistent with the fact that we know younger patients are less impacted by COVID-19, check out this chart:
Fact #4: Despite a small uptick in hospitalizations, the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU continues to decline.
IT’S DEATHS, NOT CASES
You’ve been hearing about a handful of states with rising cases, here they are on a chart, cases are clearly rising:
But for those states, what about deaths? They appear to be going the other way:
And, finally, perhaps the most important slide, using Florida as the example, there is NO correlation between more tests, more positive tests, and DEATHS (red line in the graph).
The fact that these three measures are not linear means Florida has a low and stable death rate, and the recent uptick in positive cases—which happens to be perfectly timed to the nationwide protests—means nothing:
Fact #5: There is NO correlation in Florida —the state taking the most heat in the press about a second wave — between positive tests and deaths.
Of course, anyone who has been paying attention to the data could have told you that, because the national data on COVID-19 deaths is looking more and more like Sweden’s, as we already discussed. Today, our national HIT is roughly 15%, which means we are almost done, no matter what any Governor does.
I’ve seen discussion about how the protests caused an uptick in infections amongst younger people. Some in opposition to that fairly obvious reality point to New York, which also had densely-packed protests but has NOT seen an uptick in hospitalizations—how do you explain that? By now, you know the answer: New York’s HIT is already 65%!
Notably, in the math I used, Florida only had a Herd Immunity Threshold number of 6%, well below the target of 17%. So, yes, they MAY WELL have to endure a few more deaths before they achieve HIT. But, it’s highly likely that 1) it won’t need to be as high as 17% because the people being infected are much younger (where death rate is much lower) and 2) that it will happen in the next few weeks, and policy will have nothing to do with whether it happens or not. Either way, because we know the national number is 15%, the virus is almost gone, no matter what anyone says or does, and all you need to do to verify that is look at the CDC’s death curve.
A FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT FLORIDA
John Thomas Littell, MD is a family physician in Florida. I was going to publish an excerpt from his Letter to the Editor of the Orlando Medical News, but it’s so good and so wide-ranging, I want you to read the whole thing, and then we can wrap this up:
Several times a day, on every possible news outlet, we are bombarded with updates as to the new number of “cases” of COVID-19 in the U.S. and elsewhere. News analysts then use these numbers to justify criticisms of those who dare to reject the CDC’s recommendations with regards to mask wearing and social distancing.
It is imperative that all Americans – and especially those in the medical profession – understand the actual definition of a “case” of COVID -19 so as to make informed decisions as to how to live our lives.
Older Americans remember all too well the dread they experienced when a family member was diagnosed with a “case” of scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), or polio. During my career in family medicine, including several years as an Army physician, I have cared for patients with chickenpox, shingles, Lyme disease as well as measles, tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS. The “case definition” established for all of these diseases by the CDC requires the presence of signs and symptoms of that disease.
In other words, each case involved a SICK patient. Laboratory studies may be performed to “confirm” a diagnosis, but are not sufficient in the absence of clinical symptoms.
Having now been privileged to care for sick patients with COVID-19, both in and out of the hospital setting, I am happy to see the number of these sick patients dwindle almost to zero in my community – while the “case numbers” for COVID-19 continue to go up. Why is that?
In marked contrast to measles, shingles, and other infectious disease, “cases” of COVID-19 do NOT require the presence of ANY symptoms whatsoever. Health departments are encouraging everyone and anyone to come in for testing, and each positive test is reported as yet another “new” case of COVID-19!
On April 5, 2020, a small number of state epidemiologists (Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Technical Supplement: Interim-20-ID-01) came up with a “surveillance” case definition for COVID-19.
At the time, there was uncertainty as to whether or not completely asymptomatic persons could transmit COVID-19 sufficiently enough to infect and cause disease in others. (This notion has never been proven and, in fact, has recently been discounted – cfr “ A Study on the Infectivity of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers, Ming Fao et al, Respir Med, 2020 Aug – available online through PubMed 2020 May 13, as well as recent reports from the WHO itself).
The CSTF thereby justified the unconventional case definition for COVID-19, adding “CSTE realizes that field investigations will involve evaluations of persons with no symptoms and these individuals will need to be counted as cases.”
Hence, anyone who has a positive PCR test (the nasal swab, PCR test for COVID Antigen or Nucleic Acid) or serological test (blood test for antibodies –IgG and/or IgM) would be classified as a “case” – even in the absence of symptoms.
In our hospitals at this time, there are hundreds of former nursing home residents sitting in “COVID” units who are in their usual state of good health, banned from returning to their former nursing home residences simply because they have TESTED Positive for COVID-19 during mass testing programs in the nursing homes.
The presence of a positive lab test for COVID-19 in a person who has never been sick is actually GOOD news for that person and for the rest of us. The positive test indicates that this person has likely mounted an adequate immune response to a small dose of COVID-19 to whom he or she was exposed – naturally (hence, no need for a vaccine vs. COVID-19).
It is important as well to understand that the presence of lab testing is not the ONLY criterion that the CDC used to established a diagnosis of COVID-19. The presence of only 1 or 2 flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) – in the absence of another proven cause (e.g., influenza, bacterial pneumonia) is SUFFICIENT to give a diagnosis of COVID-19 – as long as the patient also meets certain “epidemiological linkage” criteria as follows:
“In a person with clinically compatible symptoms, [a “case” will be reported if that person had] one or more of the following exposures in the 14 days before onset of symptoms: travel to or residence in an area with sustained, ongoing community transmission of SARS-CoV-2; close contact (10 minutes or longer, within a 6 foot distance) with a person diagnosed with COVID-19; or member of a risk cohort as defined by public health authorities during an outbreak.” Note that the definition of a “risk cohort” includes age > 70 or living in a nursing home or similar facility.
So, in essence, any person with an influenza- like illness (ILI) could be considered a “case” of COVID-19, even WITHOUT confirmatory lab testing. The CDC has even advised to consider any deaths from pneumonia or ILI as “Covid-related” deaths – unless the physician or medical examiner establishes another infectious agent as the cause of illness.
Now perhaps you see why the increasing number of cases, and even deaths, due to COVID-19 is fraught with misinterpretation and is NOT in any way a measure of the ACTUAL morbidity and mortality FROM COVID-19. My patients who insist upon wearing masks, gloves and social distancing are citing these misleading statistics as justification for their decisions (and, of course, that they are following the “CDC guidelines”). I simply advise them, “COVID-19 is NOT in the atmosphere around us; it resides in the respiratory tracts of infected individuals and can only be transmitted to others by sick, infected persons after prolonged contact with others”.
So you may ask – why are we continuing to report increasing numbers of cases of COVID as though it were BAD news for America? Rather than as GOOD news, i.e, that the thousands of healthy Americans testing positive (also known as “asymptomatic”) are indicative of the presence of herd immunity – protecting themselves and many of us from potential future assaults by variants of COVID?
Why did we as a society stop sending our children to schools and camps and sports activities? Why did we stop going to work and church and public parks and beaches? Why did we insist that healthy persons “stay at home” – rather than observing the evidence-based, medically prudent method of identifying those who were sick and isolating them from the rest of the population – advising the sick to “stay at home” and allowing the rest of society to function normally? And, while we witnessed the gatherings of protestors in recent days with little concerns for COVID-19 spread among these asymptomatic persons, most certainly many are hoping that the increasing “case” numbers for COVID-19 will discourage folks from coming to any more rallies for certain candidates for political office.
Fear is a powerful weapon. FDR famously broadcast to Americans in 1933 that “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”. I would argue that we have to fear those who would have us remain fearful and servile and willing to surrender basic freedoms without justification.
John Thomas Littell, MD, is a board-certified family physician. After earning his MD from George Washington University, he served in the US Army, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for his work in quality improvement, and also served with the National Health Service Corps in Montana.
During his eighteen years in Kissimmee, FL, Dr Littell has served on the faculty of the UCF School of Medicine, President of the County Medical Society, and Chief of Staff at the Florida Hospital. He currently resides with his wife, Kathleen, and family in Ocala, Florida, where he remains very active as a family physician with practices both in Kissimmee and Ocala.
Dr. Littell brings up many more issues than I have chosen to address in this post, because I already wrote about them in my previous blog post on May 30.
Wasn’t this supposed to be about hospitals?
The only reason ever given for locking down in the first place was space availability in hospitals. Here’s what Florida said about their hospitals last week:
And here’s what doctors in Houston, Texas said last week:
Hospital CEO’s including, Dr. Marc Boom with Houston Methodist, Dr. David L. Callender with Memorial Hermann Health System, Dr. Doug Lawson with St. Luke’s Health, and Mark A. Wallace with Texas Children’s Hospital, held a zoom conference, June 25, out of concern, “that recent news coverage has unnecessarily alarmed the Houston community about hospital capacity during this COVID-19 surge.” The two key major takeaways from today’s discussion: The Houston health care system has the resources and capacity necessary to treat patients with COVID-19 and otherwise…
Sigh. So why is the press making such a big deal out of the “second wave”? I don’t do politics, but if I did I would probably mention that here.
What are Governors doing?
In a quick word: nothing helpful. I think this guy summarizes how I feel:
Seriously, though, the rollbacks of openings are simply ridiculous, and simply compounding a terrible idea, and delaying the inevitable process within each region of achieving a proper Herd Immunity Threshold. If you want to get angry about lockdowns all over again, like I did in my article in May, just read this: The lockdown is causing so many deaths. Here’s an excerpt:
How many people aged 15 or under have died of Covid-19? Four. The chance of dying from a lightning strike is one in 700,000. The chance of dying of Covid-19 in that age group is one in 3.5million. And we locked them all down. Even among the 15- to 44-year-olds, the death rate is very low and the vast majority of deaths have been people who had significant underlying health conditions. We locked them down as well. We locked down the population that had virtually zero risk of getting any serious problems from the disease, and then spread it wildly among the highly vulnerable age group. If you had written a plan for making a complete bollocks of things you would have come up with this one.
Dr. Michael Levitt and Sweden have been right all along. The only way through COVID-19 is by achieving the modest (10-20%) Herd Immunity Threshold required to have the virus snuff itself out. The sooner politicians—and the press—start talking about HIT and stop talking about new confirmed cases, the better off we will all be. Either way, it’s likely weeks, not months, before the data of new daily deaths will be so low that the press will have to find something new to scare everyone. It’s over.
A quick note:
Haters of this article will post articles about Sweden saying their approach has been a failure. They will point to recent press about Sweden having higher rates of COVID-19 positive tests lately — Sweden has pushed back strongly — so here’a chart for the haters, it shows positive cases in Sweden, tracked against deaths. There’s no correlation.
For my truly committed readers who made it this far:
The death rate is a fact; anything beyond this is an inference.”
William Farr (1807 – 1883)
William Farr, creator of Farr’s law, knew this over 100 years ago. Viruses rise and fall at roughly the same slopes. It’s predictable, and COVID-19 is no different, which is why, after looking at all these death curves, it’s not very hard to declare that the pandemic is over.
Oxford’s center for Evidence Based Medicine has a wonderful explanation of Farr’s law, and it’s well worth a read. Some of my favorite quotes:
Farr shows us that once peak infection has been reached then it will roughly follow the same symmetrical pattern on the downward slope […] In the midst of a pandemic, it is easy to forget Farr’s Law, and think the number infected will just keep rising, it will not. Just as quick as measures were introduced to prevent the spread of infection we need to recognise the point at which to open up society and also the special measures due to ‘density’ that require special considerations.”
Once peak deaths have been reached we should be working on the assumption that the infection has already started falling in the same progressive steps. Using deaths as the proxy for falling infections facilitates the planning of the next steps for reopening those societies that are in lockdown.”
A reader just sent me this chart from the CDC. If you don’t think the COVID-19 virus has run its course according to Farr’s Law, I can’t help you!
JB Handley is the best-selling author of How to End the Autism Epidemic. He graduated with honors from Stanford University, and currently serves as a Managing member of Bochi Investments, a private investment firm. He can be reached at [email protected]
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We need to return to work and not pay any more attention to them up there. They obviously have only one thing in mind and it has nothing to with your safety and health but with their POWER AND CONTROL.
We have been played big time and many of them need to be hung up there. This wasn’t fun and games and it was extremely costly and I don’t care how nutz they are but many need to be HANGED.
You need to forget what you think you know about viruses and pandemics, Study some history, get vaccinated, LISTEN to the experts, and write fiction novels instead of dangerous articles.Hope you aren;t continueing trying to convince people Covids a hoax. They are the ones dying now. The people folks like you convinced. Gave an entirely false sense of security to.That’s one way to create some interesting karma I suppose. I can’t for the life of me understand why this is still available for people to read online. That;s a disgrace too.
Maybe the next article should be why anyone should ever listen to a word you have to say again.
Look at Sweden’s death rate now and tell me a second wave doesn’t exist.
It’s absurd people listen to you.
Check out the ONS stats for UK age and population adjusted all-cause mortality for 2020. 9th highest since 2000. Sweden never had significant excess deaths. This was all media hype, a lot of fuss about PCR-driven ‘cases’ and a lot of propaganda. A2
To everyone who retrospectively questions the validity of above article.
There is a difference between cases and deaths. Cases have gone up partly due to spread, but also due to more testing. Even WHO acknowledges about 10% of world population have already had it. For some reason the focus moved from reporting deaths to reporting cases this summer, presumably because deaths were too low and media and the hypochondriacs/anxious needed something “juicy” to publish.
Deaths are nowhere near what they were (exactly as the article above is hinting). They have gone up slightly for the UK (currently about 1/20th of what they were around April 1st) because UK locked down slightly before the spread was total. If you look at Italy it’s even less because they locked down after the virus had already spread through and thus they had a Swedish type scenario where the lockdown served absolutely zero purpose because the virus had already spread.
Any country that locked down will have to deal with the rest of the population now catching Covid, and the deaths associated with achieving herd immunity . The Swedes were saying this all along, but the rest of the world chose to freak out instead; not to mention ruin their economies and the livelihoods and sanity of its citizens.
The good news is that Covid is nowhere near as deadly as initially thought by the same morons that made the call to lock down. The numbers now indicate it’s not even an unusually strong flu (1.1m dead over 8 months so far will barely be noticeable on a comparative graph year on year given WHO expect 60m people will die this year due to natural turnover of population).
The Covid story is definitively over (except for New Zealand et al) and I advise you to take your masks off, admit that we and our leadership f***ed up royally, and enjoy life to the fullest to compensate for the year lost. No need to linger on past mistakes and even less so to perpetuate the debacle to cover up for the fact that our almighty leaders messed up.
PS I think we should prosecute Bill Gates though; no one individual had as great a part to play in causing this unwarranted panic. But that’s just a personal opinion and I’m sure he’ll be living the good life while everyone else has shredded their savings and businesses/careers or worse.
Well, this is awkward.
Are you going to acknowledge how wrong you were?
Well this post didn’t age well.
It has aged well. FYI – a companion piece: https://covid19-projections.com/estimating-true-infections/
Bear in mind we are in the summer in the northern hemisphere and so you would expect far less numbers of deaths and hospitalisations. Vitamin D levels increase for one thing, and the virus spreads far less well. So a decline in cases is to be expected.
Yet deaths are still stubbornly running along and the US has done badly, as to be expected in a country with poor leadership and terrible public services. Like us in the UK, restrictions were done badly, as are their relaxation.
Americans have terrible health, they eat the worst food ever consumed by humans, are consequently overweight with lots of diabetes and pre-diabetes. He virus is lingering away in the background and might well hit again in the winter. It is wise to assume that it will. Innate immunity fades with age so it is unknown to way extent we can rely on it, though clearly protecting the young.
Perhaps we should reflect on US Agribusiness and how the pressure it exerts on the remaining natural habitats is creating Spillover of pathogens of which Sars-COv2-19 is just the latest and not the last.
I, a septuagenerian, have four comorbidities. I got the virus. My doctor, after I tested positive, treated me with HydroxyC. My wife did not socially distance. We just went on with our normal routine, though I was laid up with mild flu-like symptoms: low fever, neuralgia, etc. She’s fine
Many of the statistics in this article do not make any sense to me. And they don’t align with other reputable news sources. It makes me question everything in the article. For example, Sweden is not an experiment that went well, in fact things have gone badly and there are many concerns. Also the authors charts showing daily deaths steadily decreasing is simply not true. Daily deaths may have come down somewhat since the peak, but the new level of daily deaths is not decreasing.
What doesn’t make sense ? The deaths are going to be there. You divide by.0028 and then divide that number by the total population.
Sweden is exactly where they targeted.
California, Florida, Ohio, Texas and Colorado aren’t even at 10 % yet. They will get there.
In terms of death per Million inhabitants, Sweden ranks 8, behind UK, Spain, Italy. And Sweeden had no lockdown.
Deaths are spiking. Where is the update? As every public health professional, virologist, and clinician said all along – deaths lag cases. We are now seeing deaths climbing every day as consequence of the climbing cases reported a week+ ago. People take time to die. They don’t get tested positive and then die the next day. We keep them alive for weeks, but eventually lose the battle.
How much are they spiking ? Is 75 – 80 deaths really a “spike”.
If you do the basic math here, all of the states you are reading about aren’t at 10 % yet. Florida, Ohio and Georgia will get there quicker than California, which is prolonging the mess.
Stop listening to the panic driven, ratings obsessed media.
It doesn’t matter. The article made claims based upon deaths consistently falling, and claimed they would continue to do so. The evidence disputes its central premise.
Precisely. One of the central tenets of the article is that there is “no correlation” between case rate and death rate. That is bullshit.
The number of death in Europe is almost 0. See the worldometer.
“How much are they spiking ? Is 75 – 80 deaths really a “spike”.”
The 7-day moving average of daily deaths in the US is up 53% since July 5th. That’s a spike.
Handley is getting his data from the CDC. You’re taking your data from worldometer. Worldometer’s data has been criticized as being innaccurate, sometimes varying widely from official government figures:
That may explain the discrepancies you are bringing up, Craig.
What I’ve been saying all along. The author spoke WAY too soon.
The author makes the easy mistake of assuming that any of the bolshevik bureaucrats or big city apparatchiks doing the counting, deciding who thrives and who fails, or making mask policy are even remotely interested in an earnest conversation about how to best handle a serious flu outbreak like Covid-19. We are in the middle of a Leftist revolution.
This country is SO close to financial collapse. That it makes me happy. No fiat money = no country. Get ready effeminate men and you loud mouthed specials rights loving females.
Interesting article – until this “Yes, obviously, the densely-packed protests for racial equality and social justice—which I personally applaud”
You just had to get stupid. That alone makes me doubt a lot of your conclusions.
I agree about that line, but in reality it makes the article MUCH easier to share with people that didn’t get here through the same websites we did.
There’s been so many great articles that I’ve wanted to share with less informed people, but all the conservative jabs that we like to see end up making them discount the whole thing as some kind of right wing propaganda.
I know what I’m trying to say, but hopefully it actually makes sense trying to put it to words.
Also…George Floyd was NOT tragically murdered. There has been plenty of information available on the Internet about the results of his autopsy. He did NOT die of asphyxiation but from complications due to an overdose of Fentanyl and Meth as well as alcohol. Of course the media and people like this author keep pushing that narrative even though it’s false.
The pols pushing the COVID19 hype are the same progressive criminals who violate the Nuremberg code and mandate vaccines emanating from our criminal construct known as the vaccine industry.
Same bat time. Same bat channel. Refuse to consent.
JB, Governor Cuomo and other blue state governors deserve much of the credit for the declining deaths. They’ve already killed off the low hanging fruit in the nursing homes.
Florida is taking the correct approach while California is not.
Interesting as this data is released the director of the CDC said we can squash tis with masks in 4-weeks. Any correlation between that and the HIT factor ?
Sure, placebo masks (surgical and especially cloth masks) keep people from over distancing and get us to HIT quicker.
My review of the data for Arizona doesn’t even begin to resemble your data. But then, my undergrad and graduate work was only in mathematics. I perhaps should have sprinkled in some courses on “political propaganda”. I must confess, I’d prefer to believe your conclusions, but sadly …
Well don’t just sit there, PUT YOUR MASK BACK ON!
OK. As you claim that you are a mathematical wizard who did not take courses on political propaganda, please do the following. Take out your abacus and start counting. The the weekly COVID US deaths from worldometers and from the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, plot them and compare to the CDC data plotted against the seasonal baseline. WOW – you just understood that you may die only once!
Thanks for the tip. Just what is the “seasonal baseline” for COVID-19?
Wow – I love gotcha questions! My credentials involve undergraduate and graduate work in genetics plus 24 years at the CDC as a research microbiologist. I worked with top epidemiologists in the world – rest assured – you asked the right person.
Do you remember the fierce fight between folks who claimed that the reported deaths were WITH COVID-19 and folks who claimed that the deaths were FROM COVID-19? CDC was in the middle of this fight as both groups argued that the CDC massages the data.
US Public Health Service collects data on deaths in the US since 1930, but the history goes back to Public Health Reports, first published in 1896. CDC has codes for each cause of death with an open “unknown” category. Data can be entered through a computer program or manually at the location where the death took place. A copy of the death certificate is sent to the Social Security Administration to terminate annuities and other purposes. You cannot die twice, so the numbers have to match. The numbers used by Worldometers and the John Hopkins Group may differ a bit from the CDC numbers as they are reported differently, but the difference is not that big. CDC always qualifies the reports for past weeks as x% complete.
To avoid staying in the middle of the fight, the CDC decided to pool together the number of deaths from Pneumonia, Influenza, and COVID-19 (PIC) starting in late 2017. Then this dataset was plotted against the Seasonal Baseline of deaths from PIC. Of course, deaths, as classified from COVID-19, did not appear until about week 11 of 2020, reaching a peak in week 16, when the Governors of New York and New Jersey were eliminating the residents of nursing homes in their states. Since then, the number of deaths was falling for 12 consecutive weeks. Last week, incomplete data showed that the excess deaths reached the seasonal baseline, but, with more data, deaths are about 5.7% above the epidemic threshold.
Please visit the complete CDC page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0NmSPw4lA7K147ZviK8mS5FkAFwQCXB0dq-H2lAT5Kn3SPqa3tkVYr7FA#mortality
So PI or PIC is the pool of all deaths from respiratory tract infections plotted against PI deaths seasonal baseline (with standard error). No TB data are included, obviously, into this mix.
Do you have any more questions?
Nice article. I have modeled the mechanics of this disease extensively to understand the dynamics of herd immunity, especially resulting from variation in connectivity, susceptibility, age and dynamic behavior changes. These principals are all applied to our latest analysis on Florida that shows that if the mobility by age is restricted in proportion to risk, the disease burns itself out with a very low overall infection rate. Still wrestling a little bit with the data from Florida, but the conclusions of the analysis is that this thing burns itself out without the need for a vaccine:
I am sick of the political blame game. For example, California just shut down indoor business again and the population gets blamed for not acting responsibly, except if you riot and loot – that’s OK.
Are the hospitals overwhelmed in California or is it two or three. This political game and blame has to stop but it won’t
Newsome tanked the stock market today.
Governor Newsom predicted that 25 million will get sick in California. Texans call him “All Hat and No Cattle”, in the Midwest he is known as an empty suit. In New England, they pinned on him the JFK, Jr.’s nickname “If I only had a brain!”
These CDC death counts are never complete. As a result, the current weekly chart always shows the numbers of death tending toward zero. You are guilty of a chart crime if you don’t understand this. Here is the disclaimer: ”
Note: Provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of July 8, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources (see Technical Notes). Counts will be updated every Wednesday by 5pm. Additional information will be added to this site as available.”
Note that the current chart shows much higher deaths for the week ending June 27th compared to the chart inserted above, and these numbers will rise for many weeks as data comes in.
Week ending 6/27 is 98.2% complete and the death rate continues to descend. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/
Instead of shoveling dirt, remember that CDC publishes death data since 1930 and has a lot of experience in doing exactly that to publish the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Over 90% of CDC employees are Democrats, reporting is automatic, so there is very little space for errors. Moreover, CDC death numbers are checked against the Social Security Death index. Case closed. No other country in the world does this so well.
“And, finally, perhaps the most important slide, using Florida as the example, there is NO correlation between more tests, more positive tests, and DEATHS (red line in the graph).”
I think you spoke WAY too soon. Deaths are now beginning to kick in. The 7-day MA for the US has spiked from a low of 516 to today’s level of 723. In other words, deaths have increased by 40% in the last 8 days.
I was pretty excited until a two minute google search showed you to be a right wing anti-vaxxer. Also: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/j-b-handleys-unthinking-persons-guide-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Where did you get “right-wing”?
“Fancy Bear” was a Russian misinformation hacking group that hacked the 2016 election in the US…seems pretty close to “Gummi Bear” to me.
Except that the Russians didn’t hack the DNC…inside job.
Some guy told me the sun was going to rise again tomorrow and I believed him, until I found out he voted Republican…what a liar.
So Johnny, I take it that all those numbers were made up?
If that is your assertion then you need to give us the numbers that you are looking at.
If you don’t have any numbers that contradict the author’s then your comment is useless and misleading.
Brainwashing complete- go get your chip inserted.
Would like to know the author’s take on https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america.
People take time to die. No one should expect a spike in cases to be immediately followed by a spike in deaths. It will lag by 2-3 weeks. The falling death rate is from the case rate falling due to lockdowns. Spikes caused after reopening will cause death rate to climb in the coming weeks. If the author of this is an honest person, they will update with an explanation of how wrong they were. Herd Immunity for SARS-CoV-2 might not be possible. We do not know if IgM or IgG antibodies are protective. They probably are. But, IgM levels disappear shortly after infection, and IgG levels disappear after 2 months, which makes a person susceptible to re-infection. Re-infected cases seem to be much more severe, but the information is still coming in. This ability to be re-infected after 2 months changes herd immunity calculations tremendously.
There are no confirmed reinfections…
What about innate immunity, which does not depend on antibodies? If you are genuinely healthy in the first place (which depends on good nutrition & water, regular sensible exercise, sufficient good quality sleep, and avoiding pollutants) you won’t be knocked out by any virus, and certainly not a cold virus.
Today, Florida announced their record highest ever death toll. Any updates?
I live in Iran. And, as a matter of fact, we are experiencing a second wave of covid-19 while the officials say that currently more than 20 percent of the population has already been infected by it. The conclusions of this article are based on ignoring many other cases in other countries.
Does Iran use low, safe doses of hydroxychloroquine + zinc for 4 or 5 days within 4 days of COVID-19 symptoms appearing to rid the body of the virus like Turkey, India, Greece and many other countries with very low death rates are doing? https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-turkey-hydroxychloroquine-malaria-treatment-progress
To be honest I don’t know, but, the relatively comparable low death rate that are close to Turkey and India shows that somewhat effective procedures are being done in the hospitals here despite the fact that Iran is low on all types of healthcare facilities.
On the other hand, this is not related to the “Herd Immunity” which is the main topic of this article. Whatever the healthcare procedures is, cannot improve things on the “Herd Immunity”-side.
I think innate immunity is far more important than so-called herd-immunity. I will repeat my reply to TWIV-listener, which I made above:
“What about innate immunity, which does not depend on antibodies? If you are genuinely healthy in the first place (which depends on good nutrition & water, regular sensible exercise, sufficient good quality sleep, and avoiding pollutants) you won’t be knocked out by any virus, and certainly not a cold virus.”
If you do the author’s math, Iran is only at 6 % taking into account the 13,000 deaths.
Please double check my math.
By using the author’s formula, it looks like Iran is at 6% using the 13,000 deaths reported.
Please double check my math.
Fantastic!! Thank you so much for doing this work!! Will share!!
GREAT AND HEARTENING ARTICLE AT LAST ! THANK YOU ! I am from the Philippines. I noted all along that the death “curve” on the pandemic hovers only at a very-low 4-digit level (just 1,000+) yet to-date cases have shot up from 37,000+ in end Jun to 55,000+ today. From end-of-June partial was quarantine effected to slightly open the dying economy. From thereon the cases zoomed up very frighteningly sharply. The country’s population is around 109 million living in 7,107 islands.
Quarantines galore is the name of the game in the country (at least 4 categories depending on the degree of zonal “lockdowness”…total to partial) have been effected by geographic zones tampered w every two weeks.
Now, am not sure if I understood this article correctly but am I right or utterly wrong in concluding that we have already reached the HIT a long time ago even if I know some math and stats being an IT consultant and an engineer ? All along I have been crying about the faulty Data Management System of our Dept of Health on the contagion reporting for its slowness, errors and a la slow-boat-to-China responsiveness. Thank you !
I would like to add that Micheal Osterholm from the University of Minnesota has been wrong about almost everything and keeps changing his tune in order to fit a narrative.
He has been a menace to our society and should be fired but that won’t happen.
Pretty sure that’s why he went on Joe Rogan right at the beginning- to help spread the fear via the biggest podcast on the planet.
For what it’s worth, I had Covid 19 last month and have no idea how I caught it. I wear a mask and distance etc. I am in my mid 50’s and I have definitely been sicker. It started with fatigue, body ache and the dry cough that is always mentioned. I would have a few minute coughing spell a few times a day. Never had a fever and never took Tylenol. Then, after 5 days, it became a really bad head cold. By day 10, my sinuses cleared up and I could smell again.
Here’s the kicker, I was in close contact with my wife and she didn’t get it. She even quarantined for 14 days. My son had less contact with me and did not get it either.
My doctor said in his 40 years of practicing medicine, he never thought he would see a disease politicized. He was quite disappointed.
Next week I am donating plasma as I tested positive for anti bodies.
Great article btw
If you’re healthy a virus will find a different person to latch onto (which explains why not everyone catches every virus doing the rounds despite being in contact with others). Wearing a mask offers almost no protection (even Fauci said that early on in the game), in fact it reduces oxygen to the lungs and body and according to anecdotal testing also increases blood pressure (ask your doctor to test this for you), all of which will eventually compromise the immune system.
I’m unclear where the data for your first chart (new deaths daily) is from. NBC news has a very different one: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/coronavirus-deaths-united-states-each-day-2020-n1177936
According to the article above, in Florida all hospital patients are now being tested for SARS-COV-2 virus. So, if someone is admitted and dies of a traffic fatality *with* COVID-19, they are listed as a COVID-19 fatality even if they did not die from COVID-19. That, and the false positive test rates, could potentially explain the differences. My data from https://ncov2019.live/data shows that the COVID death rate out of “cases” in Florida continues to decline.
Don’t know if this is true, but the rumor we’ve recently heard is that hospitals get as much as $13,000 extra in federal funds for each COVID patient that they treat; thus every death is being reported as due to COVID. In fact, there was a recent news article about a family that is suing a hospital over the fact that their very elderly deceased relative never had COVID; yet that was the cause of death listed on the death certificate.
Bill, Not sure if that’s true or not. What I vaguely recall reading is that each COVID-19 patient the hospital puts on a ventilator (which is *very* damaging to COVID type ARDs patients) receives the extra $13K but that every COVID patient, ventilated or not does receive some smaller amount than that. Medicare policy is, thus, contributing, I believe, to killing more COVID-19 patients by intubating them, when the emergency critical care doctors are saying intubation is the worst way to oxygenate COVID patients.
practicing docs would tell you this is absurd, both the $ incentive idea and the fiction that there is a settled truth about when to intubate
USA Today Fact check: Hospitals get paid more [$39K] if patients listed as COVID-19, on ventilators TRUE https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/
Hospitals are paid more for Medicare patients confirmed or presumed to have coronavirushttps://orthospinenews.com/2020/05/04/hospitals-are-paid-more-for-medicare-patients-confirmed-or-presumed-to-have-coronavirus/
Fact check: Hospitals get paid more if patients listed as COVID-19, on ventilatorshttps://www.healthleadersmedia.com/welcome-ad?toURL=/finance/fact-check-hospitals-get-paid-more-if-patients-listed-covid-19-ventilators
Pretty easy to find many more articles describing these facts Steve. So, where’s your evidence to the contrary Steve?
The government pays $39K for those patients on ventilators and $13K for regular Covid-19 patients. So they have an incentive to call every patient and death Covid-19.
It was Medicare reimbursement to hospitals so it’s mainly public hospitals incentivized to label everyone covid-19 and to have stuck them on ventilators early on. The amounts were approximately $13,000 per patient and $39,000 for those put on ventilators, but I think amounts may have varied by state. You really need to watch this if you haven’t seen it:
“all hospital patients are now being tested for SARS-COV-2 virus. So, if someone is admitted and dies of a traffic fatality *with* COVID-19, they are listed as a COVID-19 fatality even if they did not die from COVID-19“
Your conclusion does not follow from your premise.
So you’re claiming the article above “Second wave? Not even close.” by JB Handley is incorrect? Where are *your* facts? Have you read the CDC’s latest definition of a COVID-19 case recently like I have? Did you read the article above or follow any of its links?
I’m claiming that you are full of shit and need a course in logic. The fact that everyone admitted to the hospital is now tested does NOT mean that a car crash victim with COVID gets counted as a COVID death. You’re just a bigmouth.
Craig, I *have* taken a graduate course in philosophical/mathematical logic. Have you? Everyone admitted to the hospital is now tested meaning that a car crash victim with COVID could very well get counted as a COVID death in order to bring in a few extra dollars for the hospital. In fact, even people who’ve not been tested for SARS-COV-2 have often been counted as COVID deaths. Add to that the fact that the testing is producing a lot of false positives – a larger number and rate of false positives of PCR COVID tests occur as the number of tests grows and as the rate of actual positive cases falls due to developing herd immunity levels. However, the death rate is what is important and that is drastically falling. In fact, for the last 3 weeks, the all-cause mortality in the US was at or well below the normal yearly seasonal amount. The spread of COVID-19 is virtually over in some states and getting very close to over in most others. See my facebook page for more data and information.
“I *have* taken a graduate course in philosophical/mathematical logic.”
Bully for you. You should have paid better attention. You obviously learned nothing.
“Everyone admitted to the hospital is now tested meaning that a car crash victim with COVID could very well get counted as a COVID death in order to bring in a few extra dollars for the hospital.”
That’s not what you said before. Before, you said “all hospital patients are now being tested for SARS-COV-2 virus. So, if someone is admitted and dies of a traffic fatality *with* COVID-19, they are listed as a COVID-19 fatality even if they did not die from COVID-19“.
As I pointed out, your logic is flawed. You posit A, then say “So, B”. But B does NOT follow from A. You made a huge logical leap. Period. I don’t believe you EVER took a course in logic.
And what you describe is out and out FRAUD. And you seem to think that this FRAUD is public knowledge. How long do you think hospitals would be able to get away with this, given that everybody “knows” they are doing it? It’s just another silly conspiracy theory, and you’ve bought into it.
“In fact, even people who’ve not been tested for SARS-COV-2 have often been counted as COVID deaths.”
“a larger number and rate of false positives of PCR COVID tests occur as the number of tests grows”
Evidence? Especially on the rate of false positives? Of course the number of false positives will grow as the number of tests grows. But the rate? I call bullshit.
“However, the death rate is what is important and that is drastically falling.”
That’s a big, fat lie and you know it. In fact, we’ve had a 47% uptick (in the 7-day moving average) in daily deaths in the US, right on cue, starting July 6, 16 days after the daily cases graph reversed its downward trend. RIGHT. ON. CUE. ?dl=0
“The spread of COVID-19 is virtually over in some states and getting very close to over in most others.”
Now you’re just parroting the author. This may or may not be true — I hope it is. Only time will tell. But one of the author’s central tenets — that there is no correlation between the case rate and the death rate — is flat out WRONG. He inexplicably made this statement long before the lag time between infection and death had passed. Presumably to push his idiotic anti-vaxing agenda.
Craig, You are full of a lot of false information but no facts. Have you *read* the CDC’s latest definition of a COVID-19 case? Have you looked at the all-cause mortality data? Have you downloaded the actual COVID data and been looking at the facts since March? https://ncov2019.live/data
I have done all these things. It seems you may have been fooled by the fear-mongering of press funded by pharmaceutical advertising dollars.
PANDEMIC OVER! The all-cause death rate for the past two weeks has been *way* below average! (Okay I know that the spread of SARS-COV-2 is not really over in *all* states that haven’t had the virus rip through yet, but the pandemic is certainly over due to reaching sufficient herd immunity thresholds in NY, NJ, MA, CT, and RI.)
CNN and other media fear-mongering continues, claiming “54 Florida hospitals have reached ICU capacity” but ACTUAL DATA, updated today July 15, for Florida ICU capacity by county is posted here: https://bi.ahca.myflorida.com/t/…/views/Public/ICUBedsCounty only TWO (2) small counties having only 8 ICU beds each, have reached 100% capacity. CNN refuses to give the public the REAL picture. Fear-mongering about Florida’s number of cases — Ridiculous! Even if Florida’s death/case rate was not dropping (but it is) Florida’s death/case rate predicts FEWER total # DEATHS than in any one of CT, MI, NY MA, PA, NH, or CO despite all of those states having smaller populations and MI, PA, NH, and CO [corrected] having less population density than Florida! Florida’s governor is doing a GREAT JOB and Florida is in great shape to achieve herd immunity.
This is all just simple arithmetic Craig. Try looking at the data yourself.
“You are full of a lot of false information but no facts.”
Funny, you say I am full of false information, but you don’t give a single example. Name ONE thing that I have said that is false. Just ONE. And back it up.
“Have you *read* the CDC’s latest definition of a COVID-19 case? Have you looked at the all-cause mortality data? Have you downloaded the actual COVID data and been looking at the facts since March?”
“The all-cause death rate for the past two weeks has been *way* below average!”
To be specific, I have analyzed and plotted the data from Excess_Deaths_Associated_with_COVID-19.csv. You can find it here: https://healthdata.gov/dataset/excess-deaths-associated-covid-19. And unlike you, I noted the caveat: “Data in recent weeks are incomplete. Only 60% of death records are submitted to NCHS within 10 days of the date of death, and completeness varies by jurisdiction.” In other words, due to the lag in reporting, the “death rate for the past two weeks” is ALWAYS “*way* below average”.
“CNN and other media fear-mongering continues”
And I don’t get my information from the MSM. Never have. I get it from original sources, as you can see. In case you haven’t noticed, this is the Age of the Internet.
“This is all just simple arithmetic Craig. Try looking at the data yourself.”
Obviously, I’ve looked at more data than you. Either that, or you are
1) blinded by ideology
My guess is all three.
I’ll say it again: The 7-day moving average of COVID deaths is up 47% since July 6th. And that is probably low, since there is also a lag in death reporting. Look for it to go higher in the near future.
A sure way to tell when someone is full of shit is when they ignore hard questions as if they weren’t asked. I will give you another shot:
Where is your evidence that “In fact, even people who’ve not been tested for SARS-COV-2 have often been counted as COVID deaths.”? And how much is “often”?
Where is your evidence that “a larger number and rate of false positives of PCR COVID tests occur as the number of tests grows”? I am talking about the rate of false positives here.
After all Kathy, it is simple arithmetic. Show us!
Craig, If you had actual data and facts, your personal attacks would be totally unnecessary. You prefer to look at *models* manipulated by the CDC to estimate “deaths associated with COVID”. But, reported actual all-mortality deaths are a more accurate source. If you had taken time to actually look at the all-mortality deaths I gave you the link for you would notice the # all-mortality deaths are not calculated/reported for a time period prior to the present day. So, #deaths from *all* causes were declining and have been at or lower than average seasonal deaths for all causes since about mid June through July 4. This looks very similar to patterns all over Europe shown here: https://www.euromomo.eu/ Call all me all the names or delusionally attribute all the ridiculous motivations to me that you want but the facts remain the same. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/04/08/dr_birx_unlike_some_countries_if_someone_dies_with_covid-19_we_are_counting_that_as_a_covid-19_death.html
“If you had actual data and facts”
I posted the name of the data file and the actual link to the data file. Data = facts.
I’m done with you. You’re a waste of my time.
Craig, You posted a link to *modeling* of data. You also did not do the simple calculations of what happens when a false positive rate is, say, 0.01 and you do nothing except increase the number of tests holding the infection rate of the population constant – Bingo, just as reported in the article above, the ratio of false positives of all the positives goes up. Similarly, when you hold the testing amount positive but reduce the infection rate (as always happens as a growing proportion of the population recovers and becomes immune), the ratio of false positives out of all positive test grows. Again simple arithmetic you could try for yourself in a spreadsheet.
Questions raised after fatal motorcycle crash listed as COVID-19 death
How about the motorcycle accident victim in Florida in which the health officer readily admitted he was listed as a covid death, and even suggested that “the virus” could have even cause the accident. He made a pathetic laughingstock of himself, and the entire system he represents.
UPDATE: Beginning July 7, the date of this article, Daily Deaths in the US are rising again.
Daily deaths of all causes or daily deaths due to COVID? Daily #deaths may rise while #deaths out of #cases may fall at the same time due to better treatment or the virus attenuating.
Due to Covid.
Jake, could you please give me your source for daily deaths in the US? Thanks.
New York recorded 0 deaths yesterday.
Bravo! It has to make you wonder therefore why on earth the lockdown happened in the first place because anyone with two brain cells could see it was a bad idea. However BG did say there would be a second wave and he said it would be worse (can’t remember his exact words). Wonder what he has in store for us.
Probably funding more research into another pathogen already.
Another item that was not mentioned is the reaction to hydroxychloroquine – which was extremely political, even among the medical community and with Fauci. The new study indicates that thousands may have been saved if treated early on. Granted we didn’t have anything but “anecdotal” evidence but the reaction and refusal to believe that it may help was purely political.
One thing that I did not see discussed (although I may have missed it) is the factor that pre-existing conditions plays into COVID-19 deaths. This information is a bit difficult to find, but I have seen three published data sets (NYC, UK, and Sweden) and all three showed the existence of pre-existing conditions in 90-95% of COVID-19 deaths. This is additional evidence that lockdowns and school closings are unnecessary. People with pre-existing conditions (fairly common in the elderly population) are most susceptible and care should be taken to keep them safe. However, the answer is not locking down and forcing masks on the younger, healthy population who, even if they do get sick, have an extremely high (well over >99%) survival rate.
covid19 deaths? is that yet another medically contrived “disease”? is it even 2019 anymore?
You should stop looking at CDC data and start looking at the data from Johns Hopkins. CDC data is geared toward funding, nothing more nothing less. That is one reason why the CDC does not consider deaths due to medical error to exist. In fact it does and it is among the top 4 cases of death in the US. It is not that the CDC is “hiding” anything (not per se at least), but their reporting protocols and standards are far different. In reality, they aren’t constructed for the containment if disease….which is a different story for a different day.
Deaths are rising in the United States
Absolute deaths are rising, death rate per thousand is falling
death rates per thousand can never fall unless you are constantly adding in new births to the calculation. I think you may have meant to say death rate per cases is falling.
Of course they are. It is impossible for them to decrease. Death rates, however are NOT rising. They are continuing to drop – even in locations where the “cases” (the most ridiculous stat to measure the state of COVID-19) are increasing. Maybe you should read this article and pay attention to the science and the data. Open your mind – it might make you feel better about what is going on.
Has anynody done the calculations of false positive covid tests ? It sounds great that a test is 99.9% accurate when it comes to specificity, but the results are terrible when very few have the so-called virus. See the quote below from the Norwegian authorities.
With a prevalence of 0.01 per cent (as in Norway today), the positive predictive value would be around 7 per cent with today’s PCR test (sensitivity 80 per cent and specificity 99.9 per cent). That is, 14 out of 15 who test positive are not infected with SARS-CoV-2.
If we presume that the rate is as low as 20 positives in Australia, one in a million, then we would have 1000 false positives if we test a million. If we are lucky we would find one of the Infected ones. We would then probably treat 1000 persons as if they had so-called Covid.
All the positives in Melbourne may in principle be false positives. Maybe one or 2 have the virus. Now, if the accuracy is only 99%, we would have 10000 false positives for each hit.
And this is the best possible scenario, not counting false negatives.
Victoria actually did 1 million tests and got 0.3 % positives. If the accuracy of the tests used were 99.7 they could all be false positives.
Now 99.9 % specificity may seem a bit high, and BMJ states the following
As current studies show marked variation and are
current estimates from systematic reviews,
numbers of 70% for sensitivity and 95% for specificity for illustrative purposes.
University of Texas found the following:
The sensitivity of the RT-PCR diagnostic test was estimated to be 0.777 (95% CI: 0.715, 0.849), while the specificity was 0.988 (95% CI: 0.933, 1.000). The confidence intervals include sampling error in addition to the error due to probabilistic knowledge of the data
So the false positive error could be as high as 5%
If there is no virus at all, we would get 50000
Pr million rested. The us has tested 40 million
If the specificity is 92% all of the tests could be false positives. Approximately 8000 people die in the us pr day. Covid 19 has been going on for about 130 days. During this time
1 040 000 Americans have died. Since many have been coded as covid deaths if doctors have suspected covid, 92% specificity could explain the whole epidemic with false positive.
With labs being under pressure to perform, it is probable that contaminants from previous tests lead to higher false positives. They cannot result in false negatives.
Have a look at the quotes below and imagine stressed lab technicians pressured to work quickly and unconsciously being rewarded for finding sars cov2 infections
Currently, DNA amplification techniques have become important detection tools. However, the extreme sensitivity of such techniques can easily result in contamination. This is a major problem in using these techniques routinely in a regulatory agency such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because false-positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results will fail our mission. Preventing PCR carryover contamination and a capacity to rapidly determine false PCR positives are crucial. In the past, several methods have been used to prevent amplicon carryover contamination
There can be various sources of contamination during PCR, leading to myriad observations that may require troubleshooting. A common observation is excessive or unexpected signal, typically caused by contamination of reagents with template, genomic DNA, or amplicons from previous reactions.
There are many ways a PCR experiment can go wrong, ruining your hard work. Environmental contamination of PCR samples is one such error.
Obtaining a clean, successful PCR requires samples free of exogenous DNA. But contaminating DNA can be lurking around every corner—from previously amplified products hanging out in the lab to your own DNA. The good news is that you can largely avoid common types of contamination by following these simple guidelines:
Thank you for discussing this important issue
2 Questions (since I didn’t feel I understood much of what you said): (1) Is it true then that the lower the percentage of persons in a population actually infected with the virus, the greater the percentage of false positives occur out of the number of tests? and (2) (dumb question probably) are PCR tests supposed to find the virus or the antibodies to the virus; and (3) can a person have both the virus and the antibodies to the virus at the same time? (4)what measure of the test tells us how many false positives or false negatives to expect and do both of those rates depend on the rates of infection in the population? I.e., please define “sensitivity” and “specificity” Thanks.
Intriguing, but I need to read the articles he cites to know how much they really support his theses. Second red flag for me was that his autism book is anti-vaccination; synopsis here: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/summary-analysis-how-to-end-the-autism-epidemic-by-j-b-handley (First red flag was reference to “haters of this book”—no serious scientist I know talks that way.) Note his day job is private investment firm: that could explain his doing intense research to understand a major market driver—if he’s right, there’s lots of money to be made or lost. Unfortunately, it could also motivate deception.
I didn’t see where Handley claimed to be a scientist. A scientist is one who uses the Scientific Method – Observation, hypothesis and testing. An analyst is someone who interprets data, which is what Handley appears to be doing.
One has nothing to do with the other. Everything he cited here is backed up with actual data.
Always check multiple sources of data…not just those cited by this author, if you want to make a truly informed comment/decision about something as serious as this virus. Believe only those things that you have actually researched yourself, from a variety of different places…even those with which you may disagree.
Article above claims: “No one seems to be listening to the Governor, the health department, or the hospitals in Florida, who all seem to be saying the same thing, which is basically that everything is fine”
This is whats going on in reality:
“At least 56 Florida hospitals in 25 different counties have hit 100% ICU capacity, according to overall hospital data released by the state. Another 35 only have 10% or less capacity remaining. In all, the state has just 962 out of a total of 5,023 ICU beds available as infections continue to rise. One expert said contact tracing has become impossible, because here are so many infections now in South Florida.”
What a poorly researched piece of Junk article is this?
Come on JB Handley, is this all you got?
1-what percentage of these icu patients are covid patients? No mentions. Are all of them covid of course not, can they be covid patients plus delayed treatment patients who are now not in a good shape any more?
2-i don’t know usa but in my country and in lots of countries in any major cities any hospital’s icu beds at any given time are usually at least %75-80 percent full, you add this to extra covid patients and non covid delayed treatment patients you will get this numbers.
This is essentially what the Houston doctors and administrators have said. The near-capacity of ICUs are a normal, seasonal thing, not related to COVID-19.
I think the thing to keep our eyes on is deaths, and possibly hospitalizations from COVID-19, not positive test results, which are simply an artifact of mass testing. Deaths are still trending down, so much so that the CD has said that this may not even qualify as an epidemic now.
Come on, July is not a season to have full hospital beds.
Deaths are trending down because the newly infected people don’t die immediately, it takes weeks sometimes months. The downward trend is from previous lock-down, simple.
Read/listen what they said. It’s on YouTube, unless they’ve scrubbed it for being ‘disinformation’.
But, in the vast, overwhelming, majority of positive cases, there is no need for hospitalizations. The vast majority don’t even show symptoms. We’re talking about hundreds or thousands of ICU beds, and nowhere near that many people require hospitalizations, give the number of supposed infections being uncovered by testing.
I’ve also read in Arizona(?) they not only count people who have tested positive by some test as COVID cases, but anyone who has been in contact with them, whether they have tested positive or not. Might the reported number of ‘cases’ then also be inflated? I think it is likely, given the other shenanigans that have been going on.
Come back to me if and when mass numbers of people start dying from the infections.
Read the article and educate yourself.
Just wait 2 weeks is so last April. Deaths fell off a cliff and it will stay that way despite what you say
Precisely. The author is a quack.
Not any more: hospitalisation data is now screwed as well, because about a third of recent hospitalisations in the US have tested positive for SARS-nCoV2 but were admitted for something other than symptomatic covid19.
Note the careful use of language: everyone needs to start doing this, and should have been doing so right from the start.
The PCR test (when it returns a valid positive test) indicates that the person is infected with a virus (SARS-nCoV2). It does not indicate that they have the range of (mostly-respiratory) symptoms associated with a disease (COVID19).
If that distinction had been carefully observed from the get-go, we would have been more apprised of the “from/with” issue.
From the start there has been deliberate conflation of “deaths-with” and “deaths-from“. And now there’s deaths-presumptively–with.
This conflation has been deliberate – it is caused by dodgy CDC guidelines about how to use U07.1 when classifying cause of death.
Guidelines from the WHO require a positive test before an ICD10 code of U07.1 can be used to code cause of death (U07.2 is used otherwise).
The CDC guidelines – promulgated on March 24th – do not require a test to record U07.1; the CDC indicates in the same document that if there are multiple contributions to death, COVID19 will be deemed the primary cause.
And now there’s “hospitalisations-with” and “hospitalisations-from”. Both are now counted as “covid19 hospitalisations”.
Quite literally, if a car accident victim is put into an ICU and tests positive for SARS-nCoV2 (either via PCR or via the lamentable antibody test), that adds 1 case to
I still have sufficient (vestigial) faith in front-line medical staff, that I would think that such a positive-tested crash victim would not be coded as having COVID19 as a primary cause of death… but most of the CoD coding for death certificates is not done by front-line staff, and I have zero trust in hospital administrators (who are financially incentivised to maximise COVID19 diagnoses).
I agree. Simply a good catalog of the problems with all of this ‘reporting’ of COVID-19 statistics.
I don’t trust any numbers anymore. They are not transparent, and you will never get the truth even if you ask how the numbers were obtained.
Never before in world history has the lie been used so effectively and so devastatingly.
I believe the TMC admins said about 23% of ICU patients were COVID, but that is recollection only.
Most recent report was 15% of ICU beds in FL were Covid
You’re the one who’s misleading, pal. Hospital ICU’s typically operate at 85 to 90 percent capacity, always. Next time, try some facts. You won’t look like such a tool of Fauci, BillGeeks and their DeepState kiddie-raper Elites.
we know there is an ageing population being made progressively more sick by pharma propaganda.
FIRST, did you take time to review the actual data the absolutely *JUNK* Salon.com article was based on? Simply look at the actual Florida data that was released here: https://bi.ahca.myflorida.com/t/ABICC/views/Public/ICUBedsCounty to see that the Salon.com person who grossly mischaracterized the Florida hospital data doesn’t know how to do basic arithmetic or read a table. The author of the Salon.com article seems to have counted any hospital that has never had ANY ICU beds as having hit 100% capacity for ICU beds! Gross disinformation. All one had to do to review the Florida state hospital stats is to look at the top total row of the data to see there was still ample Florida ICU capacity at all hospitals having any ICU capacity at all!
Mainstream news, CNN, MSNBC CBS, ABC etc all were saying that Houston hospitals were overwhelmed. Apparently no one asked the CEOs of the hospitals about it:
Here we are about a week after you posted this and there are only 6 hospitals with less than 5% adult ICU capacity and 2 with no capacity. That is according to the same source as your article you referenced above
Pete wants more death to meet his expectations I guess. To say an article filled with graphs and data is ‘poorly researched’ tells you everything you need to know about Pete. Ask an ICU nurse in Palm Beach County. Symptomatic cases are increasing but largely elderly. To Pete’s disappointment, the deaths just arent meeting his and the medias hopes.
This is an article in this very site. Hasn’t anyone read it?
If as many as 80% of us already had antibodies, the detection of antibodies is the threshold measure for a ‘case’ and CDC does not separate these cases from active, symptomatic cases in their figures, did COViD 19 ever really exist? Was it just a common vagrant virus we all have, like varicella, that got tapped to be the star of a made for TV drama? Can you all not see that it’s all one big circular reference? Building antibodies against COVID IS THE CURE. 80% of us already had the cure. The ‘cure’, ie the presence of antibodies, is the exact thing that constitutes a ‘case’. If you don’t have any bodies you are ‘at risk’. Do you not see that this might not even be real, and is definitely designed to conceivably go on forever? What is the endpoint? Has anyone said or does anyone know? Is the only approved answer that everyone take whatever Franken-Vaccine they come up with unquestioningly? The fraud is so obvious and preposterous that the author mostly wastes his time with all the scientific rigor. Every scientist already knows and has said all this. Two minutes before being banned from YT and FB. Regrettably, the ‘scientists’ we have tapped as the ‘experts’ in dealing with this have done nothing remotely resembling science. Their statistical assumptions have been a freaking embarrassment, and they have yet to even suggest what the end will be or how it will be determined scientifically.
When a cop is as wrong as these scientists and kills an innocent person, I don’t need to tell you what happens. Were a President to be this wrong and flip the nuke switch this erroneously, he would be the shame of history. Forget the inane, circular scientific arguments. Forget the benefit of the doubt. The emperor stands naked and your eyes can see it clearly. This is all a huge sham. 40 million are out of work. The economy is on life support. Entire markets have crashed to zero. Let’s be done talking about ‘science’ when it was never relevant. Let’s now move the entire discussion to “What will be the punishment?”. Nobody went to jail for 9/11. Nobody went to jail for collapsing the housing market. Are you gonna bitch out again and let this entire fraud pass unpunished too? Seriously? Then why are you even reading this article? Why would the facts even matter to you if you’re gonna do nothing with them but bow and take your shot that you never needed? Get pissed people. You’ve been had!
The truth wise young man, you speak
It sure is looking that way
SARS-COV-2 is definitely very REAL and man-made to be perfectly infectious in humans (at least in human susceptible to it). Read this for the interesting evidence: https://www.minervanett.no/corona/the-most-logical-explanation-is-that-it-comes-from-a-laboratory/361860
Beside the full-court-press campaign of terror by the consolidated media and its censorship of all non-Fauci, alternative and logical scientific opinion…Death counts should betray the failure of the pharmaceutical healthcare and defective food monopolies to increase actual health and immunity of the public. It was obvious that medical authorities were bent on the idea of mass vaccination from get-go with the lamest of preventive steps of lockdown/isolation/masks/distancing/ventilators/tracing and the flagrant malpractice by convincing the public there “are no cures” and just be helpless.
In fact clinics that employed Vitamins C&D, zinc, selenium, nebulized hydrogen peroxide, enhanced H2/O2 and sugar restriction>>>Lost NO Patients! This campaign of fear itself weakens immunity by creating nocebo sympathetic dominance which also prevents healing. So what we have is another theft of wealth, boost of inflation, tightened control/compliance across the planet where not only a ham-fisted medical establishment, but political, bureaucratic and media involvement have resulted in another 9/11 style false flag crisis. BigBro; “Don’t Taze me, Vaxx me or Taxx Me!”
” In fact clinics that employed Vitamins C&D, zinc, selenium, nebulized hydrogen peroxide, enhanced H2/O2 and sugar restriction>>>Lost NO Patients!”
LOL! And the earth is flat right? I mean riiiight?!
Pete…You a paid troll or just poorly informed by the popular media?
I also have heard from doctors treating patients that vitamins C & D, zinc, nebulized hydrogen peroxide and sugar restriction are effective treatments, but had not heard about selenium or enhanced H2/O2. What are those? Naturopathic physcians are now using the natural quinine (tree bark) that is chemically equivalent to hydroxychloroquine to rid the body of the virus, with zinc. However, it is difficult to know the right dosage since both would have the same side effects if dosages were too high. With hydroxychloroquine Turkey seems to have figured out the best dosages for early stage patients; and India for later stage hospitalized cases.
Kathy…Molecular hydrogen can be drunk in water or inhaled via an H2/O2 generator or H2 tablets fizzed in water which also supplies magnesium….
“Why did we as a society…”?
We, as a society, didn’t. Fewer than 50 state governors did. Classic definition of authoritarianism but now they get to claim, without any fear of contradiction, that they “saved lives”.
Thanks for the great article.
Dr explaining the pandemic to a coma patient who just woke up…
Dr: “They shut down the world because of a worldwide pandemic.”
Patient: “OMG! How many people are infected?”
Dr : “About 11 Million.”
Patient: “OMG! 11 million people died?”
Dr: “No, only 500 thousand… Kind of.”
Patient: “What do you mean ‘kind of’?”
Dr: “Well… they keep halving the number of deaths due to double counting, inaccurate tests and mislabeled death certificates. Also, most of the people that die are elderly and dying of other things. There are also people who died because of incorrect ventilator use and other treatments because no-one really understands the virus.”
Patient: “I don’t get it. So how many died from ONLY the virus… like literally dropped dead in the street?”
Dr: “No-one. Only in hospitals and nursing homes”
Patient: “I don’t get it.”
Dr: “Neither do I, it’s a very confusing time.”
Patient: “So they cured the other 11 million people then?”
Dr: “No, most didn’t have any symptoms and in fact they didn’t even know they had it.”
Patient: “I don’t get it.”
Dr: “Neither do I.”
Patient: “It doesn’t sound very deadly. If the other 11 million people didn’t have symptoms then how do they even know they had the virus?”
Dr: “They were tested.”
Patient: “But you just said that the tests are inaccurate.”
Dr: “They are. No-one has isolated the virus so the tests don’t really test for that.”
Patient: “I don’t get it.”
Dr: “Neither do I.”
Patient: “Ok. So when will this pandemic be over?”
Dr: “When they develop a vaccine to stop the virus.”
Patient: “The virus that nobody gets or dies from.”
Patient: “I don’t get it.”
Dr: “Neither do I.”
Yeah Yeah funny funny, ha ha ha….
Meanwhile in the real world:
“At least 56 Florida hospitals in 25 different counties have hit 100% ICU capacity, according to overall hospital data released by the state. Another 35 only have 10% or less capacity remaining. In all, the state has just 962 out of a total of 5,023 ICU beds available as infections continue to rise. One expert said contact tracing has become impossible, because here are so many infections now in South Florida.”
Does anything in the article suggest these are all COVID-19 patients, or is that a supposition, a suspicion?
It appears around 30% of ICU patients are Covid infected, with this number rising over time. This is the primary issue on the road to herd immunity i.e. controlling the R rate so that hospitals can cope.
OK, but something similar happened in Florida in 2009 and they didn’t need to shut down the economy because of it:
In Flu Pandemic, Florida’s Hospitals May Exclude Certain Patients
How very nice that Salon makes these misleading claims. Too bad that people who put facts above lies do not waste time with leftist garbage such as Salon.
Pete: The REAL data as opposed to what Salon.com fabricated: https://bi.ahca.myflorida.com/…/views/Public/ICUBedsCounty Didn’t I already point that information out as false above. Just follow the link from the Salon article to the supposed data where they got it and you’ll see what they are claiming is 100% false. Maybe they just don’t know how to read a table or do simple arithmetic or maybe Salon.com counted all hospitals that never had any ICU capacity as having hit 100% capacity. You are citing a FALSE article as if it debunks one that is using TRUE data.
If you are the chief administrator at a hospital and you can’t keep your hospital above 95% occupancy all sections, you will be fired. Near 100% is not only the target, it’s the norm. #Wakeup
Many thanks for a scientific response to all the nonsensical drama!
With a medical background I have been astounded by the strange protocols and reasons given… lockdowns look more like lockups, crashing an economy where millions of jobs, homes and businesses are lost, for approximately 1% death rate, does not add up. Very strange, handling of this.
“Medial background” because of the Janitor job at the local clinic?
PPT – Pete the Paid Troll
Part of the problem is that the CDC provides information in formats that are not readily digestible. Furthermore, the data changes weekly as the CDC processes death certificates from around the country… and those “causes of deaths” are not always consistently formulated.
The latest notion is that the number of cases appears to be increasing because the states relaxed movement and commerce restrictions. That would have been around the end of May for the most part. That also coincided with mass protests around the country. The number of cases could be increasing simply because more people are being tested by both the swab method and antibody tests. This may be uncovering infections that previously went unreported or unnoticed. The CDC itself estimated that the number of cases was 10 times that reported. If so, the death rate was 1/10th that being calculated.
I put together a tracker of weekly deaths that allows us to see if there actually has been a surge in deaths along with a perceived surge in cases. So far, the surge in deaths has not occurred. ?_nc_cat=110&_nc_sid=1480c5&_nc_ohc=LLAJmqTEA_AAX9N1_au&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=61999160638238ee4cba9f6d4d8a5d66&oe=5F2CE28B
There are a couple of minor errors in the chart: 1) the date of the the last week should have been 7/4 instead of 7/6 and the total for the column “as of 7-8-20” did not pick up the 177 from the last week. But the rest of the data and chart are correct. Since there may be as much as a month delay between the actions of relaxing restrictions and protest marches and an uptick in deaths, we should already be seeing that uptick.
The link to the source data is shown on the chart.
Apparently, the link did not translate well into this site. I’ll try again here.
MoA rebellion continues.
Over half of all responses to latest MoA post are devastatingly critical but were not censored.
I guess B self instigated argument for censorship of his own blog namely a supposed threat of conspiracy theories (anything not vetted by CDC and MSM) to national health interests that may cause irreparable harm to population, turned out to be bullshit and an act of ignorance, arrogance and self humiliation.
MoA’s gotten-to; maybe always was.
Adding: something I’ve noticed at most all the fear-mongering sites, MoA amongst them, is that aside from the site proprietor there’s very typically
a group of a half-dozen or so attack dogs, who viciously go at anyone
who doesn’t accept the ZOMG Death-and-Destruction!!! Narrative..
A glance at MoA’s comments section will fill you in. 😉
At the now gotten-to Naked Capitalism™ there was one of those types in particular who would hammer at anyone (like me) who wouldn’t go along with the
Fear Narrative (hey, “Monty”!)..
it’s [virtually] all gotten-to, folks..
Ok I have some time to start looking at the graphs in detail now. I already posted about the last graph in the article, which is the most important in my opinion for all of the world – the lag between infection and death.
Now let’s look at the veracity of the very first graph that is in the authors words the only graph that matters – the deaths. Which he claims proves that the epidemic is over.
If so, then why are ‘ Deaths, which health experts say are a lagging indicator, continued to fall nationally to 3,447 people in the week ended July 5. A handful of states, however, have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks including Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee.’ ?
When it comes to the excuse that increased testing increases the number of positive tests – I agree with that logic – then how can we tell if it shows us whether the epidemic is declining or increasing?
Simple. By looking at the positive result RATE from the tests is how.
If you test a 100 and 10 are positive, the rate is 1/10.
If you test a 1000 and 100 are positive, the rate is the same 1/10, even though there are 80 more positive – it means the epidemic is not increasing or decreasing.
If you test 100,000 and the positives are 9000 the rate is MORE than 1/10 so the epidemic is receding even if there are 8900 more positive ; BUT if the positives are 11.000 then the rate is LESS than 1/10 and the epidemic is getting WORSE.
In some places the rate is dropping already!
In some places the Intensive Care beds are already maxing out!
The charlatan anti vaxxer, fabricator of the lie that Autism is caused by vaccination, has this flimflam story collapsing as a result already.
I expect many countries will restrict visitors from the USA in the coming days, sorry we won’t be seeing you regulars in our usual tropical getaways this winter or most of Europe. Hunker down and stay safe by yourselves – most of your damned politicians don’t care. I don’t blame Trump but your local ones who have the power to do something. You have elections locally this year – choose wisely.
And by the way
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round magenta objects), also known as COVID-19, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. Image: NIAID-RML
Electron microscopes do not make or take color photos. What else was touched up?
Deaths over inflated ten times by catch all COVID death definition, number of people being infected is 50 to 100 times deflated by using critically flawed PCR test as 60-80 millions in US already been infected with mild or no symptoms developed antibodies and are immune or inherently resistant via TCell DT4 mechanism especially children whose iFR is zero.
Most of all last two weeks numbers of new PCR test positives are false positives up to 80%, any person tested positive before two weeks ago is no longer infected as acquired immunity and is not a danger to anyone. At most in entire US currently today, perhaps 100,000 people actively spreading virus but there reproduction number is below one as others already acquired immunity and cannot get infected or sick.
MSM must stop this COVID Infection porn and death porn as during last four months about 1.5 millions died in US for all caused in US as they do every year with no panic or economic destruction, 1.5 millions fie for respiratory diseases and one millions die entire preventable deaths due to malpractice, abandonment or lack of health insurance or access.
What acquired immunity?
Do you understand the positive RATE concept? Which overrides the false positive/negative vagaries?
There are now 10’s of thousands of full genome sequences of the CV and there a electron microscope photo of it!
Turning a blind eye and sticking fingers in ears will not make it go away! It’s not a fictional monster under the bed. Only the various types of testing, tracing and quarantines have stopped it becoming a holocaust so far – at different outcomes in different jurisdictions.
It has now become a political football in the elections in the US – they are suffering because of it.
What do the rates matter if the test is flawed and only tests for the CURE, antibody response? You’re being duped by your own semantics. The numbers mean nothing. Tanzania tested a goat, sheep and guyabana fruit and all came back positive. You can’t just ignore this and come back to the case numbers to make your inane point. The case numbers, no matter how you treat them are useless. Because they ARE NOT the real case numbers. Thousands of people more qualified than you have been screaming this for months. We get it, you had a neat idea. But it’s effectively inane so get over it.
“ What do the rates matter if the test is flawed and only tests for the CURE, antibody response? ”
But the PCR swab tests don’t test for antibodies!
The rates matter, when people, illogical ones, say that more tests show more infections, so the epidemic is not accelerating.
I doubt there are thousands ‘more qualified’ and certainly not this charlatan author who tried to make a living out of claiming vaccines caused autism!
there is no epidemic. no evidence of any pathogenic viruses. only evidence of a huge terror campaign wearing down an already poisoned and malnourished population. ie. boomers who were always going to get old. these are the vultures preying on them one last time. there is no words. live by the system… die by the system.
Only deaths from all causes matter when comparing whether this flu season is mush worse than the previous flu seasons during the past 100+ years. Please read this paper that shows death from all causes is only slightly worse compared to the past.
More absurdities from Guardian, I hope it will be noticed by OFFG.
Again interesting is involvement of UCL inadvertently suggesting that COVID Is a form of mental disorder making people believe that they have COVID or “journalists” and doctors believing that patients have COVID, and/or politicians believing that COVID gives them authoritarian power to lock us down and up.
Perhaps it is a breakthrough mapping COVID hypochondria, cruel opportunism or greed and lust to power and control to specific brain pathology. I wonder how Gates fully COVID infected brain CT scan looks like.